Marcus Sherels, a cornerback who was second in the NFL in punt returning last season, re-signed with the Vikings on Friday. Terms of the two-year contract for the restricted free agent were not announced.
The former Gopher, who signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010, played in every game over the past three seasons as a special teams player for the Vikings, starting seven at cornerback after injuries to starters.
“It means a lot to me,” Sherels said. “This is a place I wanted to be. This is a team that gave me a shot in the first place. I feel a sense of loyalty here, and I love being here. And love playing for Prief [special teams coach Mike Priefer] and all my teammates. I think we can build something special here.”
His punt return average of 15.2 yards was second in the league last season behind Tandon Doss of Baltimore and set a team record.
The former Rochester John Marshall standout had a Vikings-record 86-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Giants last season, the second punt return TD of his career. He also had his first career interception, against the Ravens on Dec. 8.
Sherels missed part of the Vikings’ training camp because of the death of his father, but returned the opening kickoff of the team’s final preseason game for a touchdown against Tennessee.
Sherels was a walk-on with the Gophers. As a rookie with the Vikings in 2010, he was on the practice squad for most of the season before being activated for the final game of the year.
It was a big day for the Sherels brothers. Marcus’ older brother, Mike, was named linebackers coach for the Gophers on Friday.
• Tight end John Carlson, who was released by the Vikings on Wednesday, signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. Carlson signed a five-year, $25 million deal with the Vikings in 2012, with $9 million guaranteed.